Pinellas shelter adopts all available dogs amid pandemic

LARGO — Last week, an unfamiliar but welcome hush fell over one section of Pinellas County Animal Services at 12450 Ulmerton Road, Largo.

The county reported that it had no dogs sheltering at the facility. Why? During the COVID-19 pandemic, local residents have dramatically increased adoptions in the past several weeks, according to the county. Dog kennels at the county’s animal shelter were completely empty as of April 13.

“For the first time in years at Pinellas County Animal Services, our dog adoption program is completely adopted out,” said Doug Brightwell, Animal Services director. “That’s thanks to the community and the hard work of our volunteers and our staff.”

Scores of citizens have stepped up to adopt a new furry friend to keep them company as the county and state remain under a safer-at-home order. Pet adoption services are considered an essential business under Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order.

As more dogs come into the shelter in the coming days, Brightwell encourages more residents to consider adoptions. Staff, volunteers and visitors are continuing animal adoptions while practicing safe social distancing at the shelter.

Animal Services remains open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The lobby is closed to the public on Saturdays.

For more information, visit www.pinellascounty.org/animalservices or call 727-582-2600.

Humane Society of Pinellas details operation changes

CLEARWATER — Due to the progression of COVID-19, the Humane Society of Pinellas is adhering to the CDC and health department recommendations for the protection of the public as well as its staff and pets.

HSP is currently offering adoptions by appointment only to prevent overcrowding the center’s lobby. Visit the center’s website at HumanePinellas.org to view adoptable pets. Appointments can only be made after completing an adoption application located below an adoptable pet’s profile. Staff members will then contact potential adopters by phone to schedule appointments.

The adoption center is at 3040 State Road 590 in Clearwater,

Email Adoptions@HumanePinellas.org or call 727-797-7722, ext. 2, for additional information.

The Behavior & Training Department will continue to provide support to HSP’s pets and adopters. The Puppy Basic Obedience Class has transitioned to an online platform to maintain social distancing guidelines.

A complimentary Behavior Helpline is available to assist pet owners with preliminary behavior and training advice and behavior specialist referrals. Email BehaviorHelp@HumanePinellas.org or call 727-797-7722, ext. 233.